Posted 18 December 2009on:
Many many many many years ago on a beautiful sunny autumn day I impulsively bought myself a pair of fur lined (well – fluffy) snowboots that lived safe and dry and warm in the boot (trunk) of my car. They stayed pristine white and virginal for over seven years – they were like my own little insurance policy against that little dirty four letter word. If anyone is gonna slip and slide and fall on their face, or their tail, it’s sure to be yours truly. Snow is no friend of mine! Yuck, yuck, yuck!
I was upset yesterday – I couldn’t believe the weather. I frantically searched my shoe cupboards – I have a lot of them – for my now very mucky stained, well used and abused and trusted and very much loved boots. I don’t care what they look like, or how I look. If there’s one itsy bitsy snowflake on the path, I will not leave the house without them.
I don’t remember the last time it snowed in London in December and now tonight (Thursday) it’s really coming down. I’m still recovering from last February. Actually I’m not sure I ever shared this story with anyone in the blogosphere, but my friends and community dined out on it for months and people stopped me in the street and the supermarket and the butcher and the baker and told me they’d heard what happened.
Do you remember ten months ago when this country ground to a halt? Even I watched the weather channel that day which is quite something seeing I tell certain weather obsessed people (you know who you are) if you want to know what the weather’s like, turn off the tv and put your head out the front door. I was going to Israel again expecting to be almost snowed-in there like the previous February (2008) when I had to get out the Gush for meetings in Tel Aviv in time for my taxi driver to get me there and for him to get home before he got snowed-out!
Thankfully on the day of my departure the snow in my area was practically gone so, minus snowboots, we – that is me and Gary (a good friend and my trusty driver) left the house at 6.00 a.m. We had barely gone 5 minutes when the traffic report came on to say Luton Airport was closed. We’d heard the north of the country would be snowbound, but I guess when they talked north they meant north of London. I tried to call the airport but only got pre-recorded messages so we battled on. The motorways were chock-a-block and gridlocked because of jack-knifed lorries so Gary assured me he knew another way – huh – a route that had not been gritted. Not totally unsurprising since the big news was the country had run out of salt and grit!!!
We got stuck so many times and slid all over the place. Hours later we neared Luton only to be waved down and told not to go on a particular road since nothing had moved in almost two hours. Grateful for the information, Gary reassured me again that he knew yet another way, so we unstuck ourselves in reverse and miraculously got out of there. The next road, an alternative route to the airport, had also not been gritted and was a sheet of ice. All the cars were sliding all over the place and nothing was making progress. We looked at each other and I said I felt sick, not bad traveller’s kinda sick, but scary sick and Gary had visibly paled and confessed he felt the same. He was not his usual chippy chirpy self. We had no choice – we had to abandon the car and walk the rest of the way. Gary, bless him, said the arrangement was for him to get me to the airport and so he did.
It was freezing – the snow was almost up to our knees – okay I exaggerate a little – my knees, his calves! What a gentleman – my hero – he schlepped my case and 45 minutes and a mile-and-a-half walk later two very wet and bedraggled souls entered the airport. My first port of call, the ladies, to get out of soaking wet socks, trainers and jeans. Many airlines had actually cancelled all flights; mine hadn’t and eventually, hours late, we took off – the atmosphere and camaraderie at the airport and on the flight was fantastic, but please please please, I would not want to experience that again. I came home two weeks later and everyone knew – Gary, my super-uber-hero had told everyone. I did reward him well – he was worth it.
So, back to today – that is if I get this posted, since my lights are flickering and I’m watching Grumpy Old Women at Christmas – they are so funny and it’s funny watching Maureen Lipman and Leslie Joseph, two prominent Jewish personalities, moaning about their Christmas preparations. Sorry, got distracted.
A good friend’s daughter, Sarah, is getting married this Sunday – oh and Rachel is bridesmaid again – just thought I’d mention it. Well they have been friends since nursery school. Rachel and Sarah were Gemma’s bridesmaids. Sarah and Gemma were Rachel’s. So Rachel and Gemma are Sarah’s. Aaaaah! A lot of Sarah’s family live in Israel and are flying in today and I’m putting two of her cousins and spouses up for Shabbat – that is, if they get here. The wind is howling and it is snowing – horrid – ghastly – freezing – wet – cold – settling on the ground – my road is an ice rink – that kinda snow, not the pretty pretend stuff on this page.
I’m praying they get here safely. I’m praying everyone gets to the wedding safely – especially the bride and groom. I’m wondering how my snowboots will look with my evening gown…
… and I’ve just booked to go to Israel again this February – with my snowboots!